Big Blue Marble Bookstore
a neighborhood bookstore for Mt. Airy and beyond
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Book Clubs and Reading Series

Poetry is Not a Luxury Book Club


A monthly book club, led by Elliott batTzedek, MFA,  where we'll use the best contemporary poets to explore the most urgent social issues. Each month we'll focus on a different book, along with individual poems from other poets addressing similar issues. We'll be discussing poetry as poets do, listening for sound, playing with language, considering joy and sorrow. No quizzes on "hidden meanings" here - reading poetry should be a journey, not a standardized test! And you can expect visit from some of Philly's best poetic voices.

We meet fourth Wednesdays of the month from 7:00-8:30pm, with a few date changes around holidays. You can purchase the current book club selection in the store at a 10% discount.

Our 2017-2018 season focuses on Voices of the Silenced/Voices of the Resistance. See our reading list here

Woke &


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Woke & Well-Read is a new book club starting this fall, facilitated by Jamila Latham. The group meets the 3rd Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, from 7 – 8:30 pm, starting September 20th. Both nights are the same discussion - the club meets on two nights to make space for everyone who wants to join in.

The meetings are free but registration for these discussions are required. You can find a link for tickets in each separate event.

Woke & Well-Read will look at life through the eyes of African American authors. We will explore some of the legendary greats as well as contemporary favorites and writers who are up-and-coming. Our space will be open and respectful and also unafraid of the heated passions that arise when confronting issues faced by African American communities. The book club is open to everyone, and rooted in Black culture. We welcome diversity because we know that diverse ideas can birth fresh answers. The group expects that some of the books we read will challenge our understanding of our histories, some will explore popular topics in African American communities, and some will make us laugh heartily.

Facilitator Jamila Latham is a social worker, inspiring writer, and local entrepreneur.  She enjoys good conversation and bringing people together, a combination that inspired the Woke & Well-Read Book Club. She says “There is a real need for us to get acquainted with these authors. By doing this we are preserving African American heritage and building generational, ethic, and cultural bridges.”

September 20 - I am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin. We’ll watch the documentary and then discuss Baldwin’s life and legacy.
October 18 - The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
November 15 - The Radical King by Martin Luther King, Jr, edited with an introduction by Cornel West
December 20- The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
January 17 - The Wake of the Wind by California J. Cooper
February 21 - Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
March 21 - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Club for Boys

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New at Big Blue Marble - a monthly book club for boys ages 10 - 12!

Run by parents, The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Club for Boys helps young readers expand their horizons, have fun, and read some AWESOME books.

The November selection is Gordan Korman's "The Hypnotists."

The December selection is "Jinx" by Sage Blackwood, on Friday 12/29 @ 3 pm.

To find out more, email coordinator Erin Mooney at

Moon and Thunder Magazine for Girls

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Calling all Girls 9-14 years-old to help grow the Moon and Thunder Online Magazine! New members are always welcome.

Moon and Thunder is offering a weekly after-school (Tuesdays for now, - unless otherwise noted) for girls to gather and produce the Moon and Thunder Online Magazine. 

Our weekly gathering will take place on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 5:15 pm in Big Blue Marble's Community Room. $5 suggested donation to cover snacks. Parents also must sign in at drop-off, and sign a waiver for their child.

The Moon and Thunder Online Magazine will be produced by girls, for girls. Topics will be decided upon by the tribe, and highlights will relate to wellness, self-care, and the arts. Journalism, writing, editing, poetry, art, photography, and other content will be included in every issue. Art will be photographed and included. Content and discussion will be guided by Kim Soles of the Indigo Nature Center. The girls will also be doing the coding and web design for the journal!

All submissions should be emailed to Please write SUBMISSION - Moon and Thunder in the subject line. Content must be approved and will be used if it meets the theme requirements. We aim to take as many submissions as possible, while keeping with Moon and Thunder aesthetics.

Poetry Aloud & Alive

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Poetry Aloud & Alive is the longest-running reading series at Big Blue Marble. Created by The Mad Poets Society, the series is organized by poets Mike Cohen and Dave Worrell. Each month has a featured reader and an open mic.

The series is usually booked each December for the following year. To find out how to read, contact the Mad Poets Society.

Upcoming Featured Poets

August 25: David Kertis
September 22: Hiram Larew
October 27: Nina Schafer
November 17: Rau Greenblatt
December 15: Mike Cohen and Dave Worrell

3rd Fridays with 30 West

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Dungeons & Dragons

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Philadelphia Indie Publisher Thirty West presents a monthly reading series every 3rd Friday @ Big Blue Marble. Come out to see local and area poets, fiction writers, memoirists and more! Live stream for our social media audiences.

Many months have special guests and topics - see our calendar for more information. ThirtyWest books and our features' publications will be available at the register.
BYOB in a relaxed, summer evening in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia!




Big Blue Marble hosts an ongoing table of players ages 9-13 on Thursdays from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm.


New players, from novice to pro, are welcome.

Philly Poetic Resistance

Philly Poetic Resistance is on haitus until winter. For more information, contact organizer Laurie Pollack at

Rad Parents' Book Club

Our Rad Parents' Book Club is currently on hiatus.